Today At Meetingbrook

Saturday, October 29, 2005

One small part of barn cleaned and cleared today. We win race to dump, arriving just ahead of 4:00PM.

In autumn
even though I may
see it again,
how can I sleep
with the moon this evening?

- Dogen

Maybe when we wake up we'll see there is no choice -- only the longing and need to realize oneself alongside another.

Yes, you love all that exists, you hold nothing of what you have made in abhorrence, for had you hated anything, you would not have formed it.
And how, had you not willed it, could a thing persist,
how be conserved if not called forth by you?

(--Wisdom 11:21)

The invitation to "come forth." Jesus called to Lazarus, saying "Lazarus, come forth!" We are called to come forth.

Practice, repetition, and repetition of the repeated with ever increasing intensity are its distinctive features for long
stretches of the way.

(- Eugen Herrigel, Zen and the Art of Archery )

Wood fire in cabin all day.

Porch swept.

Prayer said.

Friday, October 28, 2005

In prison today there was a memorial service for a man named David.

Originally there is no such thing as Buddha, but by necessity the name was given to him. Originally there is no such thing as mind. To attain enlightenment is to realize the one thing. For the sake of illustration, it is said that the one thing is empty, but it is not really empty. Mind of no mind is the true mind, wisdom of no wisdom is the true wisdom.
- Hyechi’oi

All we can say is what we are.

What are we?

Present!

Thursday, October 27, 2005

It's a funny world.

Even with insects--
some can sing,
some can't.

(Poem by Kobayashi Issa; Translated by Robert Hass)

We can only wait to hear the song that begins tomorrow when grand jury results are announced in Washington DC.

There's not much to like with what we hear from and about our leaders in the nation's capital.

Some have an ear for the sound of truth.

Some don't.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

We've grown used to executing people for their faith.

Do not lose yourself in the future.
The past no longer is.
The future has not yet come.
Looking deeply at life as it is
In the very here and now,
The practitioner dwells
In stability and freedom.
We must be diligent today.
To wait until tomorrow is too late.
Death comes unexpectedly.
How can we bargain with it?
The sage calls a person who knows
How to dwell in mindfulness
Night and day
"one who knows the better
way to live."

- Bhaddekaratta Sutra

Increasingly, my faith is in the present (now), in presence (here), grateful for presents (gifts) of this moment and this place.

America will not (if awake) permit anyone -- not foreign, not domestic -- to take away freedom, life, and the pursuit of happiness. Not anyone. Even if the threat comes from those who swear they are protecting and guarding the good heart of American tolorance and hospitality -- the good heart and fierce honor of its people (when awakened) will remember not to forget its soul. It is a dangerous time. We must wake up. The threat is at our door. Both sides of the door.

We in America are having difficulties with our leaders. They have taken advantage of our fear, anger, and our sleep. Misrepresentation, and many say, overzealous belief in an ideology that does not conform to the religious, ethnic, racial, and commonsense values of fairness, justice, and obedience to law -- has clouded the judgement and decisions made by the American administration..

The time is coming, and is near -- when the men and women who have played fast and loose with the philosophy of law and independence of this land -- will be forced to face the historical judgement that their actions and intentions be held in disrepute. Of this there is no doubt.

It is a time to pray. Pray for them, and for the rest of us who have had to put up with them. And pray for all whose lives and freedoms have been violated.

This prayer is toward wholeness. This prayer is toward healing. This prayer is, finally, toward transparent compassion and love.

We can learn this, this prayer.

No more executing people. Let's execute -- that is, "pursue, carry out, and follow" -- prayer where it takes us.

As the lyric goes in the theme song "Over There" from the powerful TV drama of the same name about the war in Iraq, "If you know one, say a prayer."

We can do this.

Know one.

Say it.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

2,000 American military dead in Iraq. Many more Iraqis.

He leans into twilight on a bamboo cane,
Waiting for me at Tiger Creek.
Hearing tigers roar, he urges me to leave,
Then follows a rushing brook back to his hut.
Wild flowers bloom beautifully in clusters.
A bird's single note quiets the ravine.
In still night he sits in an empty forest,
Feeling autumn on the pine forest wind.

- Wang Wei

It is a lamentable number.

So, we lament.

Americans.

Iraqis.

Dead.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Yellow leaf falls through rain. Wind has its way. Rises, then falls. Late October bluster.

Two methods enable us to rectify our heart:
The first is study,
Enriching our mind through practice and discipline;
Training, studying until an inner light begins
To grow within.
This seed of consciousness, the sages teach,
Should be nourished and kept in silence.
The second is the cultivation of Virtue.
A sincere student discovers the working of Tao
By overcoming all manner of temptation.
Hordes of riches are outweighed in merit by
A single word, Virtue.

- Loy Ching-Yuen (1873-1960)

Woodstove warms cabin. Two hermit/monastics sit then chant morning prayer under metronomic beat on roof. It is a lovely yet absurd practice. Tonite we'll sit then chant heart sutra with rhythmic beat on wood box.

Words.

Silence.

Do not court death by the errors of your ways,
nor invite destruction through your own actions.
Death was not God's doing,
he takes no pleasure in the extinction of the living.
To be -- for this he created all;
the world's created things have health in them,
in them no fatal poison can be found,
and Hades holds no power on earth;
for virtue is undying.

(Wisdom 1:14-15)

There's no other reason for practice than practice. It is in itself what we do. No one to please. No one to impress. No advertising. No hiding. Just silence and words moving into and through words and silence.

The seasons, spring, summer, autumn and winter, follow one another in harmony. The quarters from which the winds blow function in due season without the least deviation. And the ever-flowing springs, created for our health as well as our enjoyment, unfailingly offer their breasts to sustain human life. The tiniest of living creatures meet together in harmony and peace.
(from A letter to the Corinthians by Pope St Clement, d.101AD)

Cat curls on bed in kitchen. Dog stretches on bed in study. Saskia brings chicken soup to shop at harbour. I watch yellow leaf drop through wind and rain.

I have nothing to say about God. Nor do I have anything to say against God. I accept God as God accepts me. God is God. Bill is Bill. It is a delightful, wet, and stormy day.

Love is love. Truth, truth. Presence, presence.

Birth is birth and death is death.

Life is life.

Nothing more?

Nothing less!

Seeds finally in bird feeders.

Seed, itself, cultivating.